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December 21, 2007

“I’m Going Down!”

When Heather sees something she wants, she makes sure she gets it.

Capricorn Cat
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Heather ‘I’ll never do retail again, not even at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’ Cosario sort of looks like she’s dumpster diving. In reality, the 22-year-old, who is cruising Mexico with David Addleman aboard his Monterey Bay-based Cal 36 Eupsychia, is seen going down for ice cream while crewing on Wayne Hendryx and Carol Baggerly’s Brisbane-based Hughes 45 Capricorn Cat. Blair Grinols, the boat’s builder and original owner, was an ice cream freak, so he made the freezer super efficient and deep. Cosario just wants other boatbuilders to understand the problems when freezers are too deep.

Heather, in a position more normal for humans, poses with David in La Cruz, Mexico.

Capricorn Cat
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Sodebo and IDEC Streak Around the World

Javier de Muns, our man in Brittany with his finger on the pulse of solo around the world racers, filed this report:

"Last Monday’s weather window, with 40 to 50 knots wind, big seas, and an air temperature of 30 degrees seemed to have done the trick for Thomas Coville  and his 105-ft trimaran Sodebo, as they are already in the warmer latitudes of the Canary Islands, having averaged 20 knots since the start. As it stands now, Coville is 11 hours ahead of Ellen MacArthur’s current record time — and was even a few miles ahead of Francis Joyon’s pace with IDEC. But light winds have slowed Sodebo, so she’s now about even with where IDEC was.

Thomas Coville took advantage of a decent weather window and left France on Monday for his assault on the solo round-the-world record.

© 2007 Jean Marie Liot/ DPPI/ Sodeb’O

"However, it wasn’t an easy start for Coville, whose trimaran was hit by lightning at dawn on his first full day at sea. The lightning strike broke the tri’s wind vane wand at the top of the mast, but a circuit breaker prevented any damage to the rest of Sodebo’s electric and electronic systems.

"Coville is praising the design of Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret in similar terms that Joyon has done. ‘Sodebo goes through the seas exceptionally well. When the leeward float disappears in the water, it comes out without brutally accelerating. With the same sea conditions, I feel safer than in a ORMA 60 trimaran. Those designs are airborne more often, more like birds because of their daggerboards. Sodebo is more like a fish. She doesn’t fight the seas, but goes right through the troughs without stopping.’

"Coville says that he’s not fighting against MacArthur’s or Joyon’s times because they all had different weather conditions. But from what we’ve seen so far, Sodebo and Coville have equal potential to that of IDEC and Joyon.

"At the antipodes, sailing already in the Pacific Ocean at 54º south, Joyon continues to push IDEC so as not to be caught by a high that would slow him. Joyon plans to head south close to 57º south to dodge a high. ‘The interesting thing with a fast boat such as IDEC,’ he reports, ‘is that you can play with the elements and situate the boat at the best place in relation with the weather system.’

"Having passed the halfway point in his record attempt, Joyon is only 27 hours behind the crewed record set by the 125-ft Orange II! But with Joyon’s ground team having told him of Coville’s fast start, Joyon will have additional pressure to push even harder.

"Three days ago we had the historic occasion of a man racing solo around the world in a very fast trimaran. Now we have two men who — despite Coville’s words — will be fiercely racing against each other for a new record during the next weeks."

Olympian Austin Sperry to Speak at StFYC

The day after Christmas (December 26) means the shopping is a faint memory, the presents are opened, the house is a mess and you’re ready for a little sailing ‘content’ in your life. It’s serendipitous then that it’s also the day that Star Class Olympian Austin Sperry will be speaking at St. Francis YC’s Yachting Luncheon, sharing how he and father-in-law, John Dane III, came from behind to win their Qingdao Olympic berth in the last 100 yards in the last leg of the last race in the Olympic Trials in October. The casual-dress luncheon is $18 — and, from personal experience, worth every penny — and the general public is cordially invited.

Taco Stands

Doña de Mallorca and a new acquaintance sitting in front of Hilda’s Taco Stand in Turtle Bay. There must be more than 10,000 such stands in Mexico.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One of the great culinary and social aspects of cruising Mexico are the taco stands and carts, found from the smallest villages to street corners in the biggest cities. Not only are they often the place to get delicious and inexpensive treats — sometimes as late as 3 a.m. on a warm Mexican night — they are a great place to make friends, with either the vendors, who are usually gregarious, or other diners sitting or standing with you.

The accompanying photo is of Hilda’s taco stand just up from the beer depository in Turtle Bay. The company was wonderful and the food was good, although not great. Is there a good taco stand where you’re cruising? If so, we’d love for you to email a photo and tell us a little about it. Gracias.

Ho Ho Ho & Happy Holidays

In an effort to allow our staff to finish (and, in some cases, start) their Christmas shopping, and then to recover from the Big Day itself, ‘Lectronic Latitude will be on vacation until December 28. From all of us at Latitude 38 to all of our readers — Happy Holidays!

Not having a lot of money didn’t stop Northern Californians Eli and Sara from enjoying a summer of cruising their own 36-footer in the Med.
The harbor at Gustavia is perfect for blockading. latitude/Richard
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC Bonnie Russell of San Diego alerts us to the fact that the fishermen — and there are not many of them — on the chic island of St.
With the ideal weather window for crossing from Mexico to French Polynesia just a few months away, there’s lots of chatter — both on the docks and via email — between those who will soon join the ranks of Pacific Puddle Jumpers, as we like to call them.
"I do my job as a sailor, that’s all." So Francis Joyon said modestly after he and his 97-ft trimaran IDEC left the Indian Ocean and sailed into the deep South Pacific.